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Fusion, ITER and DONES - a Piece of the Sun on Earth - Energy for the Future

PMI Forum 2022

Lecture summary

The fusion of the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes – deuterium and tritium – is what powers the Sun and other stars.

The ITER project ("The Way" in Latin) is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today and is considered the most complex device in the history of civilization. Its goal is to master fusion energy, that is, to achieve the so-called burning plasma, and literally get a piece of the Sun on Earth by 2035.

The value of the ITER project is estimated at €15 billion, and the EU, USA, Russia, China, Japan, India and South Korea participate in it. The European part of the project is managed by the fusion energy agency of the European Union, "Fusion for Energy", based in Barcelona. The device itself is built in Cadarache in southern France. Scientific research in fusion for the needs of the EU, i.e. the design of ITER, the design of the fusion power plant DEMO and other supporting devices, is carried out by the EUROfusion consortium, which consists of 28 leading institutes from EU members, as well as the UK, Switzerland and Ukraine, with 156 cooperating institutions, and a total of more than 2000 scientists.

The goal of DONES is to enable research on the resistance of fusion materials to intense neutron radiation. This €700 million device consists of an extremely powerful linear accelerator that would accelerate deuterium towards a waterfall of liquid lithium and thus produce an intense beam of neutrons to irradiate fusion samples. DONES and its related AFNS in Japan would be built in EU-Japan cooperation, while the main partners within the EU are Spain and Croatia.


About the lecturer

Dr. sc. Tonči Tadić is a senior research associate at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. He graduated in physics engineering at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Zagreb and received his doctorate in nuclear physics in 1995 at the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the University of Zagreb. In the period from 1997 to 1998, he was a visiting researcher at the Osaka National Research Institute (ONRI-AIST) as a scholarship holder of the Japan Agency for Science and Technology. From 2000 to 2008, he was a member of the Croatian Parliament. Since 2013, he has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of EURATOM, coordinator of the Croatian Fusion Research Unit (CRU), member of the assembly of the EUROfusion Consortium, head of the Project Team of the DONES.HR Consortium, and representative of the Republic of Croatia in the Management Board of the European agency Fusion for Energy in charge of ITER construction. In 2014, Japanese Emperor Akihito awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest award, for his services in the scientific connection between the EU and Japan.


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